Blogger Children and Technology Committee, Children & Technology, Programming Ideas, STEM/STEAM, Technology

Tech for STEAM Learning, Play, and Programming

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with choices when it comes to the ever changing world of technology, but part of the fun can be exploring the fun, new gadgets and toys that come out! By speaking with other youth services librarians, keeping in touch via social media, and sharing our work, I’ve discovered that the task of keeping up with the next big thing becomes a little easier.

ALA Annual 2016, Children & Technology, Live Blogging, STEM/STEAM

52 Weeks of STEM @ Your Library #alaac16

STEM programming isn’t scary, it’s fun! At least that’s the message Heather Love Beverley and Heather Thompson from Cook Memorial Public Library District in Illinois gave a packed audience today at their 52 Weeks of STEM @ Your Library program. From hydraulic butterflies, DIY Rollercoaster to programming without computers, they shared how to add engaging STEM programming into your library.

Guest Blogger, STEM/STEAM

STEAM programming in Acton-Agua Dulce and Moose Jaw

Maker programming is a large trend in public libraries throughout North America. By researching kit options and planning for added costs, public libraries can develop successful steam programming. Moose Jaw Public Library has invested in a number of Maker programming initiatives which have been well received, including MakeDo, Squishy Circuits, and Little Bits. Prior to purchasing we sought reviews from a number of sources, including communications with other librarians,, and reviews at PLA and at other conferences. We funded our Maker programs through a grant and through donations from our local Friends of the Library. MakeDo encourages children to explore basic engineering principles. Each kit comes with a plastic safe saw, and several pins and hinges. Each library supplies cardboard boxes and the paper supplies required by the kits. Children can build anything they wish, or follow the kit instructions. While they cannot take their creations home, they can…

Live Blogging, PLA 2016, STEM/STEAM

52 Weeks of Stem at Your Library

I am really enjoying my first #PLA2016 conference. Today I attended “52 Weeks of STEM at Your Library”presented by The Heathers (Heather Love Beverly and Heather Thompson) of Cook Memorial Public Library District. As Teresa mentioned, they have a great blog ( that outlines their successes in STEM programming and fabulous ideas to get us started incorporating this into our own libraries. In addition, they shared a lot of other tips and tricks for those of us who might be just a *little* intimidated by the idea. Rule of Three: When attempting an experiment, measure how long it takes you to complete it. Then, multiply that times three. That is how long you should expect it to take during the program. It is ok to say “I don’t know.” This can be used as an opportunity to say, “After the program, let’s go look it up!” The programs they list…

Blogger Nicole Martin, Programming Ideas, Slice of Life, STEM/STEAM

Fingerprints and Forensics with First-graders

Did you know with a few simple, inexpensive materials and some creativity you can create your own forensics lab for early elementary kiddos? You can! I lead a STEAM focused program at my library for first, second and third graders entitled Imagination Lab. The idea is that for four weeks in the fall, and again in the winter, we meet up after school to explore a variety of concepts that fit under the broad umbrella of STEAM. We experiment, sometimes I demonstrate, and we always create something to take home. In the past few weeks we have explored the science behind sound, polymers, and color, but my favorite topic may just have been forensics! Inspired by the awesome Mad Scientists Club CSI program, I crafted my own 45-minute program for first through third grade patrons. I think this is a great program that can be easily modified for older children and held without breaking the…